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Gambeson and Padded Jack

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 10:13 am
by rustyfrenchman
Hi guys,
Could anyone explain to me the difference between a padded Jack and a Gambeson? Is it purely to do with the length of the garment? I am confused!
Thanks,
Damian

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 10:19 am
by rustyfrenchman
Oh and I forgot to mention Zuparellos, Aketons and Arming doublets!!

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 10:50 am
by Fox
Well, now you've done it.
We'll end up having a debate based around the difference between what the words meant then, and what they're used to mean now.

My answer (for it's worth) is the key difference is usually the period the garment is associate with, and therefore it's length (sometimes that will effect the style slightly, side splits etc). The period may also dicatate other subtlies in style, either practical or fashionable.

The one exception that is more different is probably arming doublets. The implecation being there that the garment is assocaited specifically with wearing armour over it; as a result they are often less padded, has points for armour, etc.

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 11:08 am
by rustyfrenchman
So the debate commences!

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 12:40 pm
by Marcus Woodhouse
They are spelt differently.

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 1:19 pm
by Colin Middleton
Well, I'll open the bidding then and stick my head in the blender.

The Gambeson and Aketon appear in the 11th? Century and take the form of long, quilted coats. The terms may have been used interchangeably, though modern historians tend to use Gambeson to describe a padded garment worn as a top layer, while using aketon to describe padded garments worn under other armour. No-one's certain if this (or any other) distinction was in use during the middle ages.

The introduction of plate armour appears to have fueled the transition of the aketon into the arming doublet during the 14th C. The exact development is rather hidden, but it appears to involve the gament becomming much more close fitting (almost skin tight by the later 14th C) and shorter, as well as taking on a role of supporting the armour more, rather than protecting against injury.

Also appearing in the 14th C is the Jupon. This is a padded coat, worn over armour (again shorter and more tailored than the Gambeson). These tended to show heraldic and decorative details and could be quite rich. These appear to have fallen out of use by the end of the 14th C, when alwhite harness made them unnecessary.

A personal theory is that the linnen jack of the 15th C developed out of the Jupon, as it is being worn as a top layer of armour. However, this is pure speculation.

The Linnnen Jack (Arming Jack is a bit of a reenactorism) is again fitted, to follow the fashion in coats at the time. It is usually made of many layers of linnen (or fustian) quilted togeather, possibly with other additions such as leather or steel plates, mail links, etc).

Okay, flame away!

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 1:51 pm
by Fox
By fustian do you mean a wool/linen cloth, rather than the later cotton/linen meaning.

(Strictly speaking, I believe fustian just means a cloth with a different material used for the warp and weft, so no-one is wrong, I'm just trying to clarify).

BTB, do people call it an "arming jack"? How horrible.
I mostly hear them called padded jacks.

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 3:19 pm
by Alan E
Colin Middleton wrote:...Also appearing in the 14th C is the Jupon. This is a padded coat, worn over armour (again shorter and more tailored than the Gambeson). These tended to show heraldic and decorative details and could be quite rich. These appear to have fallen out of use by the end of the 14th C, when alwhite harness made them unnecessary.
...!
Something that has confused me with that description (which I've seen before) is Chaucer's description of his knight:

"Of fustian he wered a gypon
Al bismotered with his habergeon"

Why would the "bismoter" be visible if this was worn over the armour? Surely the marks would be inside the jupon in that case, to be visibly marked the jupon would have had the armour worn over it (removed for riding to Canterbury)?

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 3:40 pm
by Fox
Do we know that the modern pigeon holing of the word to [almost] exclusively mean a garment worn over armour is also it's period usage?

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 4:14 pm
by Merlon.
Fox wrote:Do we know that the modern pigeon holing of the word to [almost] exclusively mean a garment worn over armour is also it's period usage?
Per the OED
jupon
1. A close-fitting tunic or doublet; esp. one worn by knights under the hauberk, sometimes of thick stuff and padded; later, a sleeveless surcoat worn outside the armour, of rich materials and emblazoned with arms. Obs. exc. Hist.

2. A short kirtle worn by women


So originally worn under the armour.....

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:32 pm
by Alan E
Ahh, thanks. That makes more sense of Chaucer's usage.

So now I know that I need a fustian jupon to go under my mail, as well as a new gambeson to go over it!

(good thing I'd sort-of planned it that way)

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:34 pm
by rustyfrenchman
Wow that turned out complicated!

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:37 pm
by Alan E
Alright, to complicate it more - this http://www.myarmoury.com/feature_spot_quilted.html disagrees with the OED about Jupon, and probably with other things said here too :P

And this http://web.ceu.hu/medstud/manual/SRM/gloss.htm#gipon says everything was worn under the armour and a pourpoint is not for pointing things to, but was a coat armour.

And this gambeson http://www.revivalclothing.com/index.as ... &ProdID=38 is apparently inspired partly by the Jupon of Charles VI of France (and by a mid C14 Jack and by .... )

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:44 pm
by Fox
Alan E wrote:a pourpoint is not for pointing things to
As I've said, I'm prepared to believe that modern usage is not equivelent to period usage, but the clue is the bloody question.

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:48 pm
by rustyfrenchman
I just received a pourpoint today and it seems pretty padded!!

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:53 pm
by Alan E
Sorry, I thought rustyfrenchman had it all simply sorted now (his last reply). The link actually equates pourpoint to jaques (jack) so the mention of pourpoint was slightly relevant.

Modern usage is certainly mixed for all these garments; I'd guess that period usage was too (or studies of original contexts of these words would have conclusively proved particular definitions), and changed over time (as does modern usage - those links have different composition dates on them for example).

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 8:04 pm
by rustyfrenchman
no.. was just mentioning that.. I thought they were purely for securing armour. I will be getting a gambeson/jack tomorrow....

Posted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 1:23 am
by Sir_John_Thomas
OK its all confusing me :shock:

So I'm gonna stick to my home made names for clothing

So I have: clothing that goes under other clothing, clothing that goes over other clother, and clothing with holes in it, so you can tie it to other ctothing

how does that work for ya :lol:

Posted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 9:37 am
by rustyfrenchman
Ok! I originally thought there was a fundemental difference between jack and gambeson but now there isn't its ok :D

Posted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:06 am
by gregory23b
Pourpoint in French is not the same as in English, see the other jack thread - I CBA posting the reference all over again ;-)

but a quick lookie to see if there is any evidence of separate terms for different items, eg aketon and gambeson

this one lists them as separate items
(1306) Court R.Lond. 245: [One] gambeson, [one] aketoun, [one] corset, [and one] banere.


This one lists them as separate items of harness

c1400(?a1300) KAlex.(LdMisc 622) 5142: Þe kyng hete..3onge kni3ttes..Armen hem in breny of yse, Wiþouten cotoned aketoun Oiþer plate oiþer gaumbisoun.


re arming jack

I suspect it is a muddle of this well known reference:

(1473) Paston 5.188: Sende me a newe vestment off whyght damaske..I wyll make an armyng doblett off it.

PLus

(1418) EEWills 37/3: A Doubeled of defence couered with red Leþer.

(1441) Indent.Retain.in Archaeol.17 215: And all the seid archers specially to have good Jakks of defence, salades, swerdes, and sheves of xl arwes

mix ups with doublet of defence.


More jack stuff (pun he he)

(1378) Doc.in Riley Mem.Lond. 418: [Two] paltockes [of black] satyn, [called] jackes. (1380) Plea & Mem.R.Lond.Gildh. 269: [A] hopeland, 12 d.; 2 doublettes, 3 s. 8 d..[a] jakke, 5 s. c1380 Firumb.(1) (Ashm 33) 3689: Þor3-out ys scheld..Plates of iakke & ioupoun, þor3-out al it 3ot. (1405) in Rymer's Foedera (1709-10) 8.384: Viginti & quatuor Jakkes. c1425(a1420) Lydg. TB (Aug A.4) 3.77: Some wold armyd be more li3t In þikke Iackys, curid with satyn. (1447) Will York in Sur.Soc.30 128: Thomae fratri meo optimam togam..optimum meum dobletum de velvet..et unum jak. (1454) Doc.in Gilbert Cal.Dublin 1 283: No prentise..shulde be admitted unto the fraunches of the saide citte till he have a jake, bowe, shefe. (1474) Let.Bk.Lond.L (Gldh LetBk L) 121: Jakkes made with Roten Cloth and paynted clothes of old wollen cloth..deceivably made to the hurt of the Kynges liege people



Also, people might be interested in some inventory prices of the York area,circa 1470 where jacks are valued more highly than sallets or swords, will chekc when I get home, but 6 shillings comes to mind over 1 or 2 shillings for a sallet and sword, more than one instance as well. Suggesting they might not have been as cheap as we think, in relation to other harness yes, but the cost suggests a level of work and materials of a higher level.

Posted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:57 am
by wulfenganck
rustyfrenchman wrote:Ok! I originally thought there was a fundemental difference between jack and gambeson but now there isn't its ok :D
Well, AFAIK the word Gambeson doesn't appear anywhere after the early or maybe mid-1300s.
To name a any padded, quilted or otherwise for combat purpose designed piece of clothing of the 15th century a "gambeson" would be wrong IMO.

Posted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 11:28 am
by gregory23b
"To name a any padded, quilted or otherwise for combat purpose designed piece of clothing of the 15th century a "gambeson" would be wrong IMO."

I would concur, esp after the previosu entries.

Posted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:48 pm
by Colin Middleton
Fox wrote:Do we know that the modern pigeon holing of the word to [almost] exclusively mean a garment worn over armour is also it's period usage?
IIRC, aketons aren't decorated, but gambesons MAY be decorated (or may not), so we presume that the gambeson is made to be seen and aketon not, but it's a long way from an exact definition. As far a period usage goes, you may as well treat the terms as interchangable until some-one finds some better evidence.

Rusty, the fundamental difference between a Jack and a Gambeson is the shape (and who/how it is used) and period it belongs to. Gambesons usually pull on over the head, while many jacks have open fronts (with a port-peice covering the gap?). Also jacks are usually shorter. Gambesons tend to be associated with knights, while jacks are more the common man's defence. They are very different items and you shouldn't confuse them, just because they provide defence in the same way.

Posted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:50 pm
by rustyfrenchman
Ah I see Colin, that clears it up a bit, thanks!

Posted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:55 pm
by Colin Middleton
Fox, I don't know what is meant by fustian in this context, I just know that Howard sent away fustian to make is jacks and doublet defences.
gregory23b wrote:mix ups with doublet of defence.
Id didn't mention doublets of defence for fear of confusing the issue (further). For those that don't know, a doublet of defence appears to be separate from the arming doublet. The later is a foundation for full harness, while the doublet of defence is more like a 'bullet proof vest'. It is worn as a doublet (and fits as such), but is built up with layers of linnen or fustian like a jack is (there's records of a duke wearing one with plates in when he was beheaded). This makes it resistant to weapons, without actually 'becomming' armour.

Posted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 4:10 pm
by gregory23b
"Id didn't mention doublets of defence for fear of confusing the issue (further)."

Whereas, I took the plunge, I am the sacrificial lamb ;-)

Posted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 4:54 pm
by Fox
Colin Middleton wrote:
Fox wrote:Do we know that the modern pigeon holing of the word to [almost] exclusively mean a garment worn over armour is also it's period usage?
IIRC, aketons aren't decorated, but gambesons MAY be decorated (or may not), so we presume that the gambeson is made to be seen and aketon not, but it's a long way from an exact definition.
...and is worse than useless since Alan was asking about a jupon.
Colin Middleton wrote:Fox, I don't know what is meant by fustian in this context,
Then let me hazard a guess that it's material with a linen weft (long, vertical strands in the loom, linen being strong, long, fibre for this purpose) and a woolen warp (short, horizontal bit). Apparently you can raise a nap on it, like a velvet.

Posted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 5:09 pm
by wulfenganck
Colin Middleton wrote:....Id didn't mention doublets of defence for fear of confusing the issue (further). For those that don't know, a doublet of defence appears to be separate from the arming doublet. The later is a foundation for full harness, while the doublet of defence is more like a 'bullet proof vest'. It is worn as a doublet (and fits as such), but is built up with layers of linnen or fustian like a jack is (there's records of a duke wearing one with plates in when he was beheaded). This makes it resistant to weapons, without actually 'becomming' armour.
Sorry, I don't get it. if It is built from several layers "like a jack" or even "with plates in it" what was the purpose, if not for shelter against cuts, slices or other attacks? So its a part of the armour, onky textile armour, isn't it?

Posted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 5:14 pm
by Fox
Agreed. Sounds like armour to me.

I take from what Colin is saying that this is a fitted, fashionable garment for personal defence rather than a garment of war. Do I have that correct?

Posted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 1:05 pm
by Colin Middleton
Yes. It's like the bullte proof vests that celebs/officials wear, rather than being 'battlefield' armour.

Sorry Fox, you're right about the Jupon.